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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How I Lost my Virginity ( for the Second Time)

Sometimes I hear newly diagnosed HIV+ guys say they'll never have sex again. They feel dirty. They fear passing the virus on to another, which is pretty understandable. They feel undesirable, unsexy, also pretty understandable as a reaction. But it doesn't have to be that way. I didn't have sex with another man for more than three years in the 90s. I barely even masturbated. Sex just seemed irrelevent at best, a terrible disease and death-ridden thing at worst. Over three years without sex - I did feel like a virgin again.

Some good friends helped me through that phase in the best possible way.

They had supported me in the mid-90s when I was so sick and we all thought I was dying, and they were there as I was recovering, helping me get back on my feet and into life again.

When I was sick I'd totally lost interest in sex, and as I was recovering, I was stuck in a head-space where I saw myself as polluted, dirty, unsexy, and unloveable. They saw this on some level, and decided it was time to ease me back into the gay mainstream, step by step.

There was a private gay sex-club called "Volt" running in Auckland in those days, and they took me there one night.

I was a bit excited about going out, especially to somewhere like this, but apprehensive as well. I'd spent an awful lot of time in sex-clubs in the old days. The Mineshaft in NY was still open when I lived there, and I was a regular. I've always liked them, the way they operate, and the men you can meet in them.

But at this stage of my life I was still feeling fragile, and as I said, definitely not feeling sexy. I had a negative little voice in my head telling me I should never have sex again, that it was wrong - and that's something I hear a lot from guys with HIV.

I was lucky - I was bending over the pool table to take a shot, when I felt a hand run over my arse. It was totally unexpected, and one of the most sensual and exciting feelings I've ever had. I couldn't believe that some man thought I was hot, that a guy would touch me that way again. I turned around and saw a tall, handsome, very sexy man grinning at me.

Of course, we started talking. One of the first things I did was explain my situation, being poz and everything. This tall, handsome and sexy stranger turned out to be a nurse who'd worked in the UK with people with AIDS. He was completely unworried and totally calm about the prospect of us getting naked and having fun. Like I said, I was lucky - I couldn't have met a better man to end my celibacy with and make me feel good about being a sexual being again.

I took him home, a little nervous about it all, but we had a fantastic night of mind-blowing sex and talk and fun. It was just wonderful for me to realise that even though I have this virus in my blood, I didn't have to give up on the joy and pleasure of sex and physical affection. It felt amazing that a handsome man would actually find me attractive and desire me. It felt so good to be desired again - I can't tell you how good that felt. I can't tell you how grateful I still am for the wonderful way he took me out of that dark, unhappy space where I only saw myself as a walking disease, a bringer of death, and was able to see myself as a full human-being again, capable of connecting physically and emotionally with other men. And for me, that's what being gay is all about - the fact I want my primary emotional and physical connections to be with men.

We didn't become lovers, and he's left Auckland now, but I always feel like I owe him, and the friends who insisted I come out of my shell, a huge debt.

They helped me bring joy back into my life, and that's something a lot of poz guys lose. I've been lucky.


JawnBC said...

I think one thing so many str8 people won't ever understanding is how "casual" even "anonymous" sex can be incredibly healing.

A lot of queers don't get it either.

Healing....and fucking hawt!!!!

Michael's Travels said...

Yes, it was healing - and now I wish I'd used that word dammit! ;-)